Impaired pubertal development and testicular hormone function in males with sickle cell anemia

  • Martins P
  • Kerbauy J
  • Moraes-Souza H
 et al. 
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Changes in weight/height ratio, delayed sexual maturation, hypogonadism and impaired fertility have been demonstrated in sickle cell disease (SCD). This study aimed to evaluate the clinical and laboratory views of the Leydig cells function after stimulation with hCG in adults with sickle cell disease. We studied 15 patients with SCD (18 to 40. years; median. =. 27. years. old), fourteen homozygous S, and one with SC disease. The control group, composed by adult males, was divided into two groups: I - 10 relatives (18-39. years, median. =. 26. years) with the same socioeconomic level of the patients, and II - 9 normal individuals (23-28, median. =. 31. years) randomly chosen. Clinically it was observed a slight degree of malnutrition, important puberty delay, rarefaction of chest, underarm and pubic hair, and important reduction of the testis and penis size, featuring a mild hypogonadism in patients with SCD. The hormonal level assessment of testosterone at baseline and at 24, 48 and 72. h after hCG stimulation showed no significant differences between the groups studied. We can presume that adult men with SCD showed clinical hypoandrogenism with normal testicular hormonal function, a fact inconsistent with the hypothesis of primary hypogonadism.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Hypoandrogenism
  • Pubertal development
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Testicular hormonal function

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